Getting out through a beach break...
braaad asked a great question in the forums about how to get out through the white water of a beach break.
Some great advice came through:
Get on the board ASAP.
Keep the kite in the air at all costs.
Power is the key.
The more powered up you are, the easier it is to negotiate white water and near breaking waves - or gently boost over them.
Obviously, start in smaller waves, with good kite power, and work your way up to more challenging conditions. It is a lot less forgiving than flat water if you put the kite down and get worked.
underpowered conditions and big close out waves are not a good combo.
when approaching a broken wave start moving your kite towards 12 o'clock lift the nose of your board as you hit the whitewater. you should just ride straight over it. Obviously bigger waves are harder to negotiate than smaller ones but the principle remains the same. Practice makes perfect. But it's really not that hard. As others have stated, riding in the waves underpowered is undesireable, even dangerous if the surf is big. If you are riding a twin tip you want to stay powered up, not so neccesary if riding a surfboard.
Kiting in waves is amazing fun when done right, but there is a much greater element of danger which should not be underestimated. Untill you gain experience stick to small surf, and never go out in surf that you wouldn't swim/surf in.
if the waves to big just turn and run or go around it, wait for a break an just cruise out
and yes...power is everything
and dont kite through the flaged areas,go out 100m
you will soon work it out.
I find navigating surf is all about reading the water. Most beach breaks have a 'peaky' section where it's particular gnarly, and then it's easier left & right of this.
If you start off in the less agressive part to get your skills down. Watch how the waves work .. when you're heading out and you're faced with a pitching lip, you can often head left or right to catch a section which isn't so bad. On particularly big days, you might find yourself heading downwind, parallel to the wave, until it breaks, then head out over the froth.
If it is is frothing & foaming, either jump over it, or do a weight shift with your feet to to pop onto/over it ..
If you get in trouble, I'd agree with the other #1 priority is keep the kite flying.. you can always find your board, even if it means dragging to the beach to find out where it went! Having your board, but a downed kite ain't half as much fun!
And... like the others say, if it looks 'impassable', you can always gybe, stay in one piece, and have another go...
A few things:
- Ease off the edge just before you hit the white whater. If you are edging hard you will slide out and get munched, or do a really lame swinging air (and crash) as the wave passes. Concentrate more on standing upright and getting the nose up so you can ride up and over.
- If the wave is about to break you can dive head and body through the wave in a sort of kite boarding duck dive manouver (with the board on your feet). You will have to do this if you are trying to body drag out through the waves.
- Always ride down wind and get some speed and power happening. No power means no kiting. If the beach is long enough you can have a heap of fun blasting along and doing little carves off the face until you can see a clear spot to edge out. You combine this with racing the lumps of white water and steep faces. Also bend your knees ass you go up and over a face so you don't go into orbit (see edging above).
- Of course, if there's enough wind and your skills are up to it you can always jump over. There's nothing worse than crashing into the face of the wave behind.
If you wouldn't paddle out (ie to big) on a surfboard, don't kite it.
Make sure you start out in a spot where the rip is not too strong, and if anything you want it running upwind to give you more power.
Flipside is getting you board back gets a bit trickier if you lose it...
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How to progress in Freestyle Kiteboarding
Henning provides an excellent freestyle Kiteboarding guide...